U.S. surges past Jamaica in World Cup qualifying

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Updated: 10/11/2013 8:29 pm

Kansas City, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Second-half goals from Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore helped the United States secure a 2-0 win over Jamaica at Sporting Park on Friday in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

The Americans clinched a spot in the World Cup with a 2-0 win over Mexico in the last qualifier, and early on the team lacked a certain edge to its play that was evident in a sluggish first half.

But Zusi was introduced at halftime and scored the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute before Altidore wrapped up all three points with a goal of his own four minutes later.

The win means the U.S. will finish on top of the qualifying group with one game to spare, while Jamaica was officially eliminated with the defeat.

Brad Evans had to be alert to make a last-ditch clearance from a dangerous Jamaica cross early in the match, while a free kick from Rodolph Austin sailed inches past the post for Jamaica.

Things finally kicked into gear for the home side in the 77th minute when Alejandro Bedoya was played into the penalty area on the right and he pulled the ball back for Zusi to score on a first-time shot from 16 yards.

Edgar Castillo was also brought into the game as a substitute in the second half for the U.S. and he made an impact as well by setting up the second goal for Altidore with a low cross from the left wing.

The qualifying campaign will come to a close for the United States next Tuesday in Panama before the team plays friendly matches at Scotland and Austria in November.

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